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Fresh Anaheim riots: Rage over police shootings, cops fire pepper pellets (PHOTOS)

Published time: July 25, 2012 08:11
Edited time: July 26, 2012 00:06

A protester is arrested by police officers from Orange County as protesters try to occupy the the intersection of Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway to demonstrate against recent police shooting in Anaheim (REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)

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Residents of Anaheim have clashed yet again with police following the weekend shootings that killed two men. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the center tossing rocks and bottles at police and ignoring warnings to disperse.

Police stepped up their presence on the streets of Anaheim – home of Disneyland – outside City Hall, forming skirmish lines and firing pepper balls into the swelling crowds.

Residents protested against police brutality and decried the murder of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz, who was unarmed when police shot him over the weekend.

Officers arrested at least 24 people in clashes, reports the Associated Press. The local petrol station had to be shut down when protesters were spotted filling cans with gas. A group of demonstrators also hurled chairs through the windows of a local Starbucks.

Starbucks Coffee employee assess the damage to the windows broken by demonstrators with chairs as police officers from Orange County move protesters away from Anaheim City Hall (REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)
Starbucks Coffee employee assess the damage to the windows broken by demonstrators with chairs as police officers from Orange County move protesters away from Anaheim City Hall (REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)
Patrons huddle for cover as windows are broken by demonstrators with chairs (REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)
Patrons huddle for cover as windows are broken by demonstrators with chairs (REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)

Chief of Anaheim police John Welter said that his officers had exercised “great restraint” amid protester violence.

"I respect the people's right to demonstrate, but I wish that they weren't demonstrating in a violent manner," Welter said.

Riots and protests have gripped the town for the past four days after the deaths of Manuel Diaz on Saturday and Joel Acevedo on Sunday at the hands of police officers.

Police were in pursuit of Manuel Diaz along with two other men that they suspected were gang members on Saturday. Officers then confronted Diaz in front of an apartment block where he was shot. He later died of his wounds in hospital.

Anaheim’s police have not yet cited a reason as to why they opened fire on Diaz.

The victim’s family filed a lawsuit for $50 million on Tuesday against the city of Anaheim and its police department, claiming that Diaz was shot while fleeing from police.

"The reason for the shooting is still under investigation by the district attorney and we have no influence, no control or input into that investigation, so we just merely provide scene protection making sure that any evidence or any other information or detail is not disrupted in the crime scene," Welter said.

Protesters clash with police at Anaheim City Hall to show their outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
Protesters clash with police at Anaheim City Hall to show their outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)

The shooting sparked an immediate response from residents who stormed the streets of Anaheim in protest of the killing. Police reacted firing beanbag rounds into crowds that included women and children. Officers were also caught on tape releasing a police dog on protesters which took down one man and bit his arm.

Anaheim police killed the second man, Joel Acevedo on Sunday night after he allegedly opened fire on officers.

City officials voted on Tuesday to ask the US attorney’s office to come and assist in the investigations of the weekend’s shootings.

A line of police officers protect Anaheim City Hall during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
A line of police officers protect Anaheim City Hall during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
Protesters walk by the smashed windows of a Starbucks after violence erupted between police officers and protesters after demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
Protesters walk by the smashed windows of a Starbucks after violence erupted between police officers and protesters after demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
A protester kicks a passing police car during a demonstration to show outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
A protester kicks a passing police car during a demonstration to show outrage for the shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall. (AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
An injured pedestrian cries out to end the destruction of local properties after violence erupted between police officers and protesters during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
An injured pedestrian cries out to end the destruction of local properties after violence erupted between police officers and protesters during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
REUTERS / Alex Gallardo
REUTERS / Alex Gallardo

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A scrimmage line of police officers protect the streets surrounding Anaheim City Hall during a demonstration to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
A scrimmage line of police officers protect the streets surrounding Anaheim City Hall during a demonstration to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)

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A protester is taken into custody during a demonstration to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)
A protester is taken into custody during a demonstration to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall.(AFP Photo / Jonathan Gibby)

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A protester is arrested by police officers from Orange County as protesters try to occupy the intersection of Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway to demonstrate against recent police shooting in Anaheim.(REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)
A protester is arrested by police officers from Orange County as protesters try to occupy the intersection of Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway to demonstrate against recent police shooting in Anaheim.(REUTERS / Alex Gallardo)

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